X-mass Gifts or Goodie Bags for Preschool Class???

Updated on December 08, 2010
M.T. asks from Los Angeles, CA
22 answers

Hello Mommies.

Ok, so my oldest baby is in Preschool so this is the first time (other than Halloween) that I feel I should do or buy something for all the kids in her class. I'm not rich and I know I'll be spending a good amount over the holidays on my own family so I have to be on a tight budget. Ok – so what can I make or buy that will be inexpensive but, won't look too cheap??? Oh, I'm so not crafty at all! I know she has 36 kids in her class and two teachers, I guess I should find out how many boys and girls there are.

Please help!!!

Thank you, M.

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answers from Los Angeles on

How about a homemade gift? Muffins or breads? Or even homemade graham crackers cut into shapes? This dough is so easy and makes tons of cookies that are lower in sugar then most recipes! http://weelicious.com/2010/09/01/graham-crackers/

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I wouldn't worry about making goodie bags or anything. Maybe a little sheet of stickers with a bow tied around it or something for the kids, or a candy cane with a ribbon tied around it.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Check with the preschool. I know when my kids were in preschool they had a party which every child brought in something to eat or something to put into a goody bag. Like one brought in pencils, one erasers, one some candy, one some stickers, etc. Then the teachers or a mom put it all together. We also did a book exchange. Everyone brought in a book and they played some little game to exchange all the books. The parents just brought a gift in for the teachers.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You might want to ask the teachers if there is a policy about parents getting gifts or goody bags for every child in the class; it may not even be allowed.

When I taught preschool, I taught at several preschools where this practice was not allowed because many families could not afford to do so. When some parents bought presents for the entire class, other parents felt hurt because they couldn't afford to do the same.

Instead, you may want to consider buying something for the classroom for the children to enjoy together, like some books or art supplies. This is less likely to cause hurt feelings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I know you said that you werent crafty but my son and I made Dough Ornaments for his preschool class last year. He loved it, I made the dough (super easy) and cut them out, he painted them after they dried and then decided who each one was for.

1 cup of fine salt
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water (may add more)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If I don't have the money, I simply do not do goody bags for the class.

Then, if anything, I get something for the Teacher, or is there are more than 1 Teacher, I make a basket of stuff, for the classroom. Thereby, I do not have to get individual gift-s... for EACH Teacher. Cutting down on costs.

Goody bags for the kids in a class... is NOT mandatory.
Everyone has budgets.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Get gifts for the teachers and make cupcakes or cookies for the kids. That should be sufficient.



answers from San Diego on

36 kids is a lot - you'll get burned out. In all my kids' years of school, no one has ever done gifts for the whole class. Maybe one or two have given out a piece of candy or cookie attached to a card or something. Some years the whole class did a gift exchange so everyone got one gift. I would either do nothing, like most moms will do, except for the teachers of course (and I think gift cards are best for them - $10-20 apiece) or maybe a little candy or cookie for each kid, if you really have to do something.


answers from Los Angeles on

Our daughter was in preschool for two years. In all that time, I never sent a goodie bag for the kids. Why do they need goodie bags? However, I always gave a small gift card for the teacher to Michael's Crafts or Target.



answers from Pittsburgh on

DOn't buy or do anything for the whole class!! I never did this and would get a bit annoyed at the moms who did (maybe I was just jealous b/c I never had the time to get it together over the holidays to do those :-) But it is totally not necessary unless everyone does it at your child's school. At ours only about 1/4 of the kids -if even-would. If you must do something just do a candy cane. Or you can do a pretzel dipped in chocolate with some sprinkles. Those are always so cute.

I always did for the teachers though. I would give them some kind of a gift card usually. You can do a $5 Starbucks and put it in a dollar store mug.


answers from Milwaukee on

I would skip the goodie bags. I do them for parties but honestly most of the stuff is either candy which gets eaten or little toys that end in the garbage within the next two weeks.

What I did this year is ask the teacher if they were having a Christmas/holiday celebration and if yes then ask if you can bring cupcakes. At least at my daughter's preschool it has to be store bought, can not be made at home. I am bring cupcakes, getting at Sam's Club (30ct for less then $15).

Teachers I would get gift cards to a resturant, grocery store, walmart/target or learning shop. Most of the little odd and end stuff they get, even if cute, they have so much of it already ends up in the garbage or at a thrift store.

My mom is a teacher and I have seen her throw away or gives to a thrift store 95% of the stuff that she gets... it adds up quickly in a house/apartment after 20 years of teaching. It may be rude to say so but it is the honest truth when you have 25 plus kids, and new ones every year.



answers from Los Angeles on

Is the school having a CHRISTMAS party??? Living in LA I would think that there would be many NOT celebrating CHRISTMAS. And in CA many like to be vocal about not celebrating too! I'd give the kids a candy bar or something like that. If you don't want to do sweets maybe a tub of playdough and a cookie cutter. This coluld get REALLY expensive. Maybe have your child make them cards. Oriental trading has a lot of craft projects that are pretty cheap so that may be an option. Good luck!



answers from Las Vegas on

Buy a small gift for the teachers, but I agree with many of the moms -- you don't need to buy gifts for the entire class. Talk with the teachers and coordinate a gift exchange or "secret Santa" with a max value of $5.00. If the kids all bring 1 wrapped gift, there are several games that could be played as a way to distribute them.



answers from Honolulu on

one year we made reindeer ornaments (you make them w Popsicle sticks, painted brown, two googly eyes, and a red pom pom nose) and we wrote on the back of each one-- Happy Holidays _________. It was a easy and fun project to do together-- she painted the sticks brown, helped me glue them in a triangle, and glue on the eyes and nose; i wrote the words. One of my friends went to the dollar store and got each kids a watering can (man, they love those!) for a dollar and then wrote each child's name on it... Another friend has a laminating machine at home and made each child there own luggage tag w a cute picture and their name...

Now that we have two and I am even more tired :) i just buy a book from the scholastic book clubs for each child-- we always get the one dollar books (they have pretty good selections for a dollar! last year we got "if you take a mouse to the movies..."); no tax or anything else to add to the cost, so i know i will spend a dollar per kid and that's done. the other parents seem to like it-- books are nice :) and they know it was a dollar so don;t feel badly...

for me, really, if you like doing stuff like that and it's fun (NOT stressful) then do it :) If you don;t want to, then don't. It's all good

My daughter likes to make things w me and we have fun trying to come up w ideas :) whatever floats her boat and is a dollar or less; I just try to steer clear of plastic toys and what not b/c most parents are drowning in those...

happy holidays



answers from San Francisco on

On special holidays I normally bake cupcakes for all of the kids at my son's preschool. I buy the cups according to the holiday, the mix and sprinkles as well. For halloween I brought cupcakes and treat bags with very little candy and tattoos for the kids and they loved it!



answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter's preschool does a book exchange. everyone brings in a wrapped book, and then they swap.

I think a candycane is pl;enty for 36 kids.



answers from Honolulu on

Print coloring pages off a kids website (playhousedisney.com, etc.) and buy a few crayons or markers for each child. db



answers from Los Angeles on

Don't do it! Totally not necessary.
You could help your child make some small Christmas cards (card stock & rubber stamps work great) and attach a mini candy cane or small candy or even a mini ornament that you make or buy. But nothing more than that is necessary.
On a side note, where on earth does your child go to preschool that there are 36 kids in the class?! There were never anymore than 12 in my kids preschool class, and I thought that was the state law. Just wondered.



answers from Los Angeles on

36 kids? Ouch. I say if you really are on a tight budget, skip this idea. I don't know how much you have to spend but even if you go to the dollar store and pick something out that still is going to cost you $41 (including teachers) I also don"t recommend giving baked goods. Many chidren have allergies and you may exclude some of them if you make cookies and a child can't eat them.

If you still want to do something, perhaps you can give one gift that everyone can enjoy at the same time. Preschool usually has dancing to music as one of their activities so maybe a CD of fun age appropriate music.

You can also get something for the class room itself, like painting supplies or craft materials. Some new books for the teachers to read to the children or an educational toy.

Good luck!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

M., This is very thoughtful of you. I have an at-home preschool and the best gift for the class, is a gift for the class - extra construction paper, replacing favorite, yet worn out, books, 4 new balls, etc. Items like these are greatly appreciated by everyone, and can be used & enjoyed everyday. Peace, B.



answers from Chicago on

Skip the preschool goody bag. Its simply unnecessary and frankly, its just more clutter.

If you have the money, acknowlege the teacher with a gift card to his/her favorite store, coffee shop etc.



answers from San Diego on

Something for instant gratification, lollipop from bulk bag, 50c
Something for later, Xmas cookie cutter from michaels, 5oc
Buy a package of markers and put one marker each into the goodie bag, $50-$1.

Other options, bulk chapsticks $? flavored for the girls or matchbox cars $1.

Try to keep the bag cost low. You can use paperbags thoughnsee through is prettier. You could use a zip lick bag and staple cardboard on the top that you have your child decorate with driving or painting.

Though I would try to stay way from junk toys I have to say they are strangely popular with my 4 year old. To find these you can check the
Dollar bin at michaels or the party favor toy section at PartY city.

I do agree with all moms above. You won't make yourself popular by doing too much, it will make the kids happy but the moms won't appreciate it.

It might make you happy though so merry Xmas...

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